A Sober Reminder to Unbelievers Everywhere!

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This topic contains 40 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 month ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 31 through 41 (of 41 total)
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  • #44231

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think there is a problem with perceived infantalisation and crying wolf.

    I’m not sure that I understand. Are you saying people perceive those equating certain verbal abuse and violence as being coddled or potentially as making up harm that doesn’t exist (or at least not to the degree claimed)?

    Bleh. I wrote that right after waking up. Times like this I wish I could edit for clarity or delete and start over.

    No, you were right. I observe that some people think that. Personally, I suspend judgement.

    #44232

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @davis – it’s true that abused women often say that psychological abuse is worse than the physical.

    @autumn – we seem to be talking about a failure of empathy.  I think empathy is a product of what we perceive and how we feel about it.  Empathic concern or compassion depends on how much we approve of the other person.  If we don’t – then compassion is weakened or absent.  In other words, it would help the situation if oppressed victims could tell the rest of us how they feel.

    #44234

    Autumn
    Participant

    @autumn – we seem to be talking about a failure of empathy. I think empathy is a product of what we perceive and how we feel about it. Empathic concern or compassion depends on how much we approve of the other person. If we don’t – then compassion is weakened or absent. In other words, it would help the situation if oppressed victims could tell the rest of us how they feel.

    Situationally, I think that’s correct. One of the reasons things get better is as we have more exposure to new people, we do learn to understand more of what life is like for them, but I think empathy alone isn’t really enough to close the gap.

    I remember when I was a teenager my mother was telling me about a coworker who happened to be Black. that coworker told her he was frequently pulled over by the police despite not having broken any laws. My immediate response was flat out denial (though I kept it to myself). Within the hour, I realized that I was being irrational. I had no basis for affirming or denying what my mother had told me. Also, I knew that this was an issue south of the border and that in many ways Canada and the US are pretty similar. Also, I had no real reason to doubt what the man had told my mother.  So why such a visceral rejection? Lack of empathy?

    Maybe, but over the next couple of days I started to suspect what I rejected was the notion that that sort of racism existed in Canada. At the time, it was one of the things Canadians tended to pride ourselves on given our unfortunate inferiority complex: we’re less racist than America. But that belief wasn’t really predicated on much. And unfortunately, that belief had embedded itself into my identity as a Canadian.

    So before we even get to a consideration of whether I would or would not have been empathetic to this man’s mistreatment, I hit a stumbling block that my own identity was being challenged on some level. All the empathy in the world doesn’t necessarily grant you a means of leapfrogging those sorts of cognitive biases. It’s not about whether I would empathize with the man’s story had I heard it properly, but rather whether I had even positioned myself to hear it honestly in the first place.

    Having spent the last decade of my life on the opposite side of the coin (which is to say being in the space of an often misunderstood if not maligned minority), I can say that there are a lot of potential consequences to sharing. There are a lot of reasons people simply don’t want to hear what you have to say. I’m not talking about agreeing or disagreeing with it. I’m talking about even hearing and understanding what it is that’s being shared. And sharing can provoke anger and aggression, dismissal, harassment, ostraciation and isolation, or potentially violence. Not to mention sharing involves pulling up personal stuff which in itself isn’t always pleasant. On top of that, many of us grew up with the idea that sharing our feelings—especially around hardship—is just weakness and whining. I know people have been trying to change that narrative, but if you grew up with it, it sticks.

    There are actually a lot of things about sharing that are exhausting or potentially negative, especially if you have an audience that doesn’t really want to hear, or only hears what they want, or will potentially turn hostile, especially if they expect you to do all of the work. When you look at it as a risk/ reward ratio, the risk side tends to look much larger.

    #44236

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    There are a lot of reasons people simply don’t want to hear what you have to say. I’m not talking about agreeing or disagreeing with it. I’m talking about even hearing and understanding what it is that’s being shared. And sharing can provoke anger and aggression, dismissal, harassment, ostraciation and isolation, or potentially violence.

    I guess that supports my point – that people don’t want to listen to someone if they don’t like them as a category of person.  I think part of a possible way forward is to take the anger and accusations out of the situation.  People are less likely to listen if they are being accused, a priori, of being horrible people.  This just stokes the fires of the culture wars in my opinion, much as I try and stay out of those as a lot of angry noise.

    #44237

    Autumn
    Participant

    There are a lot of reasons people simply don’t want to hear what you have to say. I’m not talking about agreeing or disagreeing with it. I’m talking about even hearing and understanding what it is that’s being shared. And sharing can provoke anger and aggression, dismissal, harassment, ostraciation and isolation, or potentially violence.

    I guess that supports my point – that people don’t want to listen to someone if they don’t like them as a category of person. I think part of a possible way forward is to take the anger and accusations out of the situation. People are less likely to listen if they are being accused, a priori, of being horrible people. This just stokes the fires of the culture wars in my opinion, much as I try and stay out of those as a lot of angry noise.

    People often treat things that aren’t accusatory as accusations as a means of dismissing things they don’t want to hear. Which is not to suggest no one behaves in accusatory manners, but anytime you discuss ways in which the status quo harms you, no matter how much you try to soften it, no matter how much you try to demonstrate you understand that it’s not a matter of people setting out to antagonize you (generally), it’s still treated as an accusation or condemnation. I’m saying this as someone who has been on both sides of that discussion and has equal measures shame and frustration as a result.

    People keep telling minority demographics how to talk to them, but the advice is usually bad and often not useful in practice because one can always make an excuse not to listen if they don’t really want to listen.

    #44238

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think you’re right – if we don’t approve of someone, we just won’t listen to them.

    #44239

    Davis
    Moderator

    Which is not to suggest no one behaves in accusatory manners, but anytime you discuss ways in which the status quo harms you, no matter how much you try to soften it, no matter how much you try to demonstrate you understand that it’s not a matter of people setting out to antagonize you (generally), it’s still treated as an accusation or condemnation

    This is definitely true. Something as simple as pointing out a case of someone suffering terrible abuse (with absolutely zero other connotation) can result in angry backlash. For example if a newspaper publishes cases of terrible rape happening, three stories, three days in row, I have noted reactions like: ugh..they are just accusing all men of being rapists. This is where…nothing remotely of the sort has happened. I have noticed by reading the CBC from time to time that a lot of cases of articles on the  Canadian Mounted Police doing fairly terrible things and not admitting accountability being met with: why are people harping on the police…they aren’t all bad apples. Same goes with stories of gaybashing, discriminatory stories against transpeople, attacks on mosques and so on.  Simply pointing out some outrageous things happening, in as neutral a tone as possible, can lead to ridiculous defensive reactions. I try my hardest to avoid these reactions when people who belong to my own social groups do awful things. For example cases of gay domestic abuse. If it is reported, I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction going: not all gay people are husband-beaters. Obviously I might inquire as to whether the motivations of the publication of the story are designed to smear gay people (for example if that paper published no cases of hetero-domestic abuse but multiple stories of gay domestic abuse and shows unfavourable stories frequently about the gay community). But if that is not apparant…my reaction is: that is bad. We should be more aware this happens within the community (and it absolutely does), and to not want to make this problem go away, silence it even though it reflects badly on my community.

    #44244

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jake,

    Both you and your competitor had genius marketing strategies and neither of you were harmed by the speech of the other. 👍👍

    The biggest threats to both of you nowadays would be helmet-headed “Karens” and their hang-dog Daddy “Chads” siccing the police on both of your youthful businesses, as well as compulsory government schools droning any ideas of entrepreneurship out of both of you. (Government schools were doing that even before the latest fashionable SJW/Wokeism.)

    #44295

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    The Mullahs in Iran have a very ass-backward notion of individual responsibility:

    Tehran Blames Rushdie for Attack, Blinken Slams Despicable Iranian Press

    Tehran blames Rushdie for attack; Blinken slams ‘despicable’ Iranian press

    🎶 “Oooooh, blame it on Midnight’s Children!
    Oooooh, Shame on the (Crescent) Moon!”🎶

    #44306

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    Two things I didn’t know about Salman Rushdie that makes him even more impressive.

    One, according to this article, Rushdie actually participated in a parody of his fatwa done by Seinfeld creator Larry David:

    Admire Rushdie as a writer and a champion – but don’t forget he is a man of flesh and blood
    Nesrine Malik
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/15/admire-rushdie-writer-champion-flesh-and-blood

    Two, according to this podcast, when a Pakistani movie maker came out with a movie depicting a wished-for assassination of Salman Rushdie and the British government wanted to ban it from their jurisdiction, Salman Rushdie actually opposed the censorship and said let it play:

    So To Speak Podcast–Assassin’s Veto Comes For Rushdie

    ‘So to Speak’ podcast: Assassin’s veto comes for Rushdie

    All I say is: Magnanimous! 👍

    #44309

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    And with Laurels for great works, there has to come Lashes for rotten ones.

    This piece is the most mealy-mouthed, cowardly, irrational screed I’ve heard about the recent attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life:

    Rethinking Salman Rushdie
    We can condemn Salman Rushdie’s attacker without celebrating Rushdie.
    Michael Warren Davis

    Rethinking Salman Rushdie

    Whatever this “Conservative” is trying to “conserve,” it is not the American and Western ideals of Rationality, Secularism, Free Inquiry, and Individual Rights.

    He’s actually wanting to regress back to a barbaric time when grown-assed men fought in the streets over some gash!

    In the ultimate Hipster irony, he wouldn’t last 10 seconds in his ideal Dark Age, because even in today’s world, if he wanted to clock somebody for a real or imagined insult to his Mom or his religion, he might end up with his Hipster beard yanked and his skull cracked on a knee!

    So far, no SJW Wokesters have chimed in on Rushdie, either pro or con, but I am waiting for something about as bad as the above piece.

    Meanwhile, never forget that when Salman Rushdie was subject to the fatwa, there were apologists for the fatwa such as President Jimmy Carter, Vice-President Little Danny Quayle, and The Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Pope Francis most recently proclaimed that insulting a man’s religion “deserves a punch in the nose.” Big Papa Cuddly One may be a better Physician than he lets on, since a nasal septum lodged in the brain can kill.

    Illegitimi non Carborundum (“Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down”), Mr. Rushdie!

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